Thursday, March 29, 2007

Al Charron talks fakes, phonies & blowhards

April 20, 2006

Former Canadian captain Al Charron is keeping a regularly entertaining column these days -- self-deprecating one week, and then giving somebody a good clip behind the ear the next. In this weeks letter "Walking the walk, talking the talk," Al smacks down Canadian test-cap charlatans and braggards:

What annoys me to a certain extent are the guys who were long-listed or short-listed for Canada, or played in a trial, or attended a training camp but unfortunately for them never actually got to play for Canada in an ‘A’ game or test match.

I mean be proud you got that far, it is a hell of a feat. Many rugby players in Canada would die to have that opportunity but why cheapen the experience by- not just exaggerating but downright lying when you say ‘Yeah I played for Canada’?

Well I got news for you: you didn’t play for Canada. You might have been close but you didn’t quite make the cut! So please don’t profess to have done so. State as far as you got and throw in whatever excuse you want for not making it – politics, wrong province, coach and selectors hated me, family or work issues, injuries, no pace, too fat, too thin, too small, pace but no skill (although that is not always a stumbling block for selection for Canada!) couldn’t tackle, couldn’t stay sobre (also not always a stumbling block for selection for Canada!), too old, not really Canadian (not always a stumbling…!), ego, or maybe just the plain God’s honest truth and that is not good enough !

At any rate, you get the point. Nevertheless those who are lucky enough to play senior men’s rugby for Canada shouldn’t brag about playing for their country. First off, be proud if you actually did so. But don’t sing your own praises and most certainly don’t boast about it if you never actually did play at the highest level.

Players who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to actually do so, deserve that much. Now if you need to pull the Canada card because that might be the clincher to pull that nice girl home from the bar with you… well damn it if I’m not living vicariously through you now! Play on!

What kills me really are the guys who never had a sniff of ever playing for Canada and sometimes have never ever picked up a rugby ball in their life yet come off as so cool and matter of fact by just kinda slipping it in there that they played for Canada. Why people pick rugby as the one sport to impress people with their international bogus status I am unsure.

It is somewhat of an obscure sport in Canada but not so much as it was in years gone by, why not claim to be on the Canadian national Ultimate team, or Canadian National water polo team instead? Two sports that don’t get a whole lot of television time or any media coverage for that matter and less of a chance of running into someone who actually knows someone on that national team when you start to spew your garbage.


Of course on the other hand, in reference to my earlier statement that if you do or did represent Canada at any time, be proud as you should be. But by all means don’t blow your own horn or talk endlessly about it.

I know one former Canadian international whose name I will not reveal because chances are if you ever happen to bump into this guy at a bar, restaurant, in a airplane, and happen to mention rugby, international sports, speed, Olympics, politics in sports, injuries in sports or actually if you just say “hello“, or “excuse me can you pass the salt“, this guy in a matter of seconds of engaging in conversation with you will nonchalantly slip it in the dialogue that he played for Canada.

Believe me you’ll never forget this guy or his name if you run into him. I mean give me a break this guy’s ego is so big he thinks the word ego was created just for him. The guy played in one or two tests and he has more stories from his experiences then the hundred odd capped David Campese. If you ever run into him – keep running!

Read the rest!


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